Marilyn Lincoln, condo owner and author, responds to a condo owner who wants to establish a condo committee.
Some of us owners think a condo committee would be an asset to our community. We would like to organize one and have volunteers join us. What is the normal procedure for setting up such a committee and what kind of powers does such a committee have?
It’s the decision of the board whether they choose to appoint a condo committee. Bylaws of the corporation usually specify that committees must be created by a resolution of the board. Owners cannot have independent decision-making power and cannot legally challenge the authority of the board to make decisions in this matter.
Committee members do not have to be directors. But members must be appointed by the board and their activities must be supervised. The duties and obligations of such a committee must be clearly defined.
Committees can be very effective if they’re organized properly. Committees can be very helpful in organizing the annual barbecue, golfing tournament, monthly socials such as pot luck dinner, bingo and activities for children.
Committees need not be too large. Three to five owners would be quite sufficient. Encouragement and support from the board is a must. The board must respect and give fair consideration to the committee’s recommendations. At the same time committee members must never use this committee as a tool to challenge the board, but rather use it to help lighten the burden of volunteer directors.
Some boards shy away from committees because they feel they’re a conflict of interest or a challenge to their powers. Nothing could be further from the truth if the committee has clear, concise guidelines and genuine support from the board.
Marilyn Lincoln is a condo owner, director and author of The Condominium Self Management Guide. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.